When running a piece of equipment that essentially acts as a massive lightning rod, the provision of accurate, detailed and instantaneous information is vital to ensure safety and avoid unnecessary shutdowns. A new system from Global Lightning can help.

The Lightning Key Data System is a unique measurement system developed by Global Lightning that measures all relevant key parameters from a lightning strike to your wind turbine. Due to the unique nature of each impact on the exposed structure, it is important, useful and valuable information.

Knowing the exact time, peak current, charge, specific energy and rise time enables you to immediately and accurately make the right decisions – for example, whether the turbine can continue to operate safely or whether it should be immediately stopped for inspection.

Being able to avoid shutting down the turbines for no reason is of great value, and the system also helps operators to avoid overlooking emerging and incipient vulnerabilities in electronics or attachment points that could have fatal consequences if not taken care of in time.

Put you in the picture

The Lightning Key Data System records the lightning strike in a time frame of 1.5 second on each of the three channels. This ensures a measurement of the entire lightning incidence and, therefore, an accurate calculation of the four key parameters.

Due to the system architecture, it is capable of measuring four consecutive events on each channel, enabling records of strikes that are very long in duration. The data recording is available by Ethernet communication either as individual records of the four key parameters or as full recording, so you will know exactly what is going on. All data is also saved on an industrial-grade SD card. As such, the Lightning Key Data System can help:

  • avoid unnecessary and expensive inspections and turbine downtime
  • event-based decision-making on continued operation or need for immediate service
  • timely planning of maintenance
  • incident documentation based on facts
  • increase production.

Old and new alike

The Lightning Key Data System is typically installed with a sensor for each blade, the central processing unit in the wind turbine hub and with the power connected to the processing unit. The sensor installation accommodates the voltages associated with lightning strikes and is able to be incorporated into new projects from the design stage or retrofitted in older turbines using the default sensor installation.

Once installed, the system will provide valid lightning measurements as an optical trigger signal and as data on the optical LAN interface.

No unlucky strikes

Installation of the Lightning Key Data System in the wind turbine blade roots and hub represents one of the most severe operating environments possible in terms of temperature variation, humidity, vibrations and EMI during lightning exposure.

The Lightning Key Data System has therefore been tested extensively in EMC and climate chambers, and exposed to numerous lightning strike impacts in the Global Lightning testing facility.

The main goal for the Lightning Key Data System is to provide a reliable and robust product that has been tested to cover all environmental impacts and designed to operate safely under all conditions. The Lightning Key Data System is designed and tested to be directly, fully and naturally integrated into the harsh environment of the wind turbine hub and blade area.

Global Lightning Protection Services (GLPS) is a consulting engineering firm specialising in lightning protection design and associated verification testing. GLPS operates a large-scale testing facility for direct and indirect lightning effect testing, utilising full treat artificial lightning in accordance with various industrial, military and aerospace standards.

GLPS supports manufacturers, sub-suppliers and plant operators with our consultancy services in developing the most feasible lightning protection solutions for future and existing applications in the power, aerospace and petrochemical industries.

GLPS’s technical competences include:

  • Exposure risk assessment: risk analysis and management is a key factor in the safe and reliable operation of all mission-critical installations.
  • Modelling and simulation: in general, all electrical or electro/thermal phenomena can be modelled in different levels of detail.
  • Design and prototyping: GLPS provides complete innovative lightning solutions, which meet the requirements of professional manufacturers and operators.
  • Testing and verification: GLPS operates the world’s largest test facility for direct lightning effect testing, utilising full threat testing in accordance with various industrial, military and aerospace standards
  • Components and solutions: GLPS provides prototyping services during development projects, and supply of component and solutions for serial manufacturing.
  • Field engineering services: GLPS performs on-site analysis or damage investigations.


The GLPS team of specialised engineers and physicists covers state-of-the-art numerical modelling, reliable solutions and designs, prototyping in advanced metals and composites, full-scale lightning verification tests in the GLPS lightning laboratory, professional on-site field services, and the supply of customised components and LPS solutions.


State-of-the-art technology combined with innovative thinking on new materials, high experience, use of modern simulation tools and testing methods guarantee superior lightning protection solutions. In order to achieve improved performance, we need to use improved technologies. GLPS has these technologies available – and is constantly challenging state of the art.


GLPS respects the asset investments of our clients and provides lightning solutions with guaranteed performance. This creates value for our customers, who know that lightning performance is now secured. A solution from GLPS meets the real environmental requirements, being just advanced enough to avoid unforeseen events and respect scheduled maintenance intervals. We know what things are worth.

GLPS : a global international player

As lightning is a multidisciplinary subject, our engineering team is made up of electrical and mechanical engineers and physicists with different nationalities and background experiences. With offices in Herning and Copenhagen in Denmark, and soon in Hamburg (Germany), Shanghai (China) and Chicago (US), GLPS wants to be the preferred global supplier of lightning solutions.